Walking with crampons – Number 52 Binnien Mor

29 11 2015
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Ben Nevis in the distance with Binnien Mor to the right.

There were to be a few of us. Today would be different, I would be in company, fit company, fine company as it happened, but fit nonetheless. Fitter than me obviously, and it was worrying me as I tried to sleep. Peter was coming with me today after a long absence. He had been off doing things, things which required stamina and commitment. All those things alien to me. I had pretty much been doing nothing recently other than music, that worried me. To add to my concern, Fiona, Nick and Dan (other fit Munroamers) had joined the foray, and whilst I looked forward to the company on what was to prove a magnificent day, I worried about keeping up.

I tried for an early night and I drank none. It was the best idea I could come up with at this late juncture. I drove, four in the Landy heading for Kinlochleven car park for nine, we timed it perfectly. Dan arrived minutes behind us. We shared introductions, readied for the crisp day and set off up the lungbuster which is the path to the bench with the view.

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Fiona and Dan.

Some walk and chat ensued, not by me I have to add, I was breathing hard, jealous of their ability to talk and walk at the pace we adopted. I listened instead. Two ears and one mouth for a reason son – my Dads words filling my head. I’ll buy that willingly today Dad. We left the bench with the view after a short rest and followed the track to meet the descending snow line. At the appropriate height, Nick disappeared above as us and the others thankfully slowed to allow me to catch both my breath and them. The steeper ground offering trickier underfoot conditions, I decided it may be a good idea to try my new walking crampons if this was to be the descent. I had been to Tiso’s in Glasgow the day before to buy some walking crampons. Dreading the prospect of looking out my winter climbing boots and crampons, I had decided – for my developing belly had reminded me – that I was getting older and none the fitter for it, and I should admit to myself that it was indeed time to buy walking crampons. So I did. And they would be used today at some point, if I got the chance and could figure out where all the straps went. Fiona offered to show me how to attach them to my feet, It wasn’t required as,when I came to don them, Fiona was over on the top on Na Gruagaichean and I was left to my own devices.

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On the way up…. contemplating the walking crampons…(pic by Pete)

Here some more pictures on the way up….

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Fiona and her shadow….

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Girl, Lochan and Sgurr Eilde Mor

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Sgurr Eilde Mor and a rogue shadow…

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A bag of Munroamers….

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The Munroamers make it to the top, the Blagger steers clear..

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The lonely Munroblagger from the Munroamers perspective….

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The Blagger with the Finding Your Feet flag

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That’s a better one!….. you can read it now.

On returning back from the summit to where we left our bags, we split. Three heading off to tick Na Gruagaichean and myself and Pete retracing our steps as we had no need to revisit. A chance to try the new crampons. A revelation! Not only did they work masterfully, only once did the bindings come loose, they flexed with my boots as I found my way down the hill, a sensation which is alien to me having spent the last 20 years or so walking in stiff climbing boots and rigid crampons! I am a convert, I am born again!

Say it quietly Bobby…….I’m a walker…..

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Peter, finds a burn and my water bottle just about the “drinking your own urine” stage……

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Buachaille Etive Mor and Crowberry Tower …. if you look closely.

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The setting sun over Kinlochleven. A glorious day in Scotland’s hills.

I am the Munroblagger. I don’t go to the top. I don’t do this for my friend Corinne’s charity Finding Your Feet. You can find out more about Corinne’s story here http://findingyourfeet.net/ and you can donate here. https://www.justgiving.com/Bobby-Motherwell1/

 

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